The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] has delivered the 11th F/A-18E/F Super Hornet Block 2 to Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Va. The aircraft are equipped with the ground-breaking APG-79 Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar.
"The AESA-equipped radar on the Super Hornet Block 2 provides greater range and the ability to track many more targets," said Bob Feldmann, Boeing F/A-18 Programs vice president. "The ability to maximize sensors, such as the AESA, was part of the initial design and vision for the Super Hornet."
Boeing is delivering AESA-equipped Super Hornet Block 2 aircraft to two squadrons at NAS Oceana -- the Black Lions of VFA-213 and the Gladiators of VFA-106. VFA-213 will be the first U.S. Navy squadron to fly all AESA-equipped Super Hornets. In addition, there are two AESA-equipped Block 2 Super Hornets attached to VFA-122, the Flying Eagles Fleet Replacement Squadron, at NAS Lemoore, Calif.
"Raytheon's new APG-79 AESA radar system provides our Navy customer with a critical leap forward in reliability, supportability and capability," said Erv Grau, vice president of Raytheon Space and Airborne Systems. "The incorporation of advanced solid state electronics into the array revolutionizes reliability, and the remainder of the system is so robust that only minimal flight line maintenance is required. This type of performance was unheard of in the radar world until now."
On Oct. 27, 2006, VFA-213 became the first AESA-equipped F/A-18E/F Super Hornet operational squadron to attain "safe for flight" status, which clears it to independently fly and maintain its state-of-the-art Block 2 Super Hornets.
The APG-79 AESA is the next-generation agile beam radar for the Super Hornet Block 2. More lethal, reliable and affordable than its predecessors, the AESA provides the Super Hornet with precision strike support and enhanced situational awareness. This "game changing" radar offers multi-target tracking and increased situational awareness. In air-to-air engagements, the radar allows targets to be engaged at very long ranges and offers reduced aircrew workload via its resource manager. The system also offers high resolution ground mapping at long standoff ranges for air-to-surface tracking, with an interleaved mode capability and a five fold increase in system reliability.
AESA completed developmental testing in June 2006 and is currently completing an operational evaluation that began in July 2006.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $30.8 billion business. It provides network-centric system solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance systems; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer; a foremost developer of advanced concepts and technologies; a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in sustainment solutions and launch services.